The second Saturday in December marks a special tradition at the Channel Islands Harbor as the community kicks off the holiday season with the annual Parade of Lights. This is more than just an event – it’s an awesome, can’t miss experience.
Here’s why you need to bring your family and friends.
Our floats will be musical boats!
Your children and family will be in awe as fantastic festive boats light up the night as the procession winds through the Harbor. This year’s theme is Musical Notes & Holiday Floats. Vessel owners will be decorating their entries based on holiday songs! Not only will the Harbor be well lit with lights, there will be some great tunes you and your family and friends can sing along to.
Free pics with Santa and 36 tons of snow
Festivities at the Harbor begin at noon near Marine Emporium Landing. Take your family and enjoy a variety of food options, a holiday artists’ market, live music, and children’s activities. There will be more than 36 tons of snow moved in for your family to play in. Plus, Santa will be there to take pictures, free of charge, with your children.
Treat your family
Relish the opportunity to dine and shop in your favorite establishments in the Harbor prior to the parade. From pizza to fine dining, there’s a lot to choose from. Plus, if you can’t make it out to the parade in time while dining, there’s a great chance you can see the parade from the restaurant of your choice!
Mast Lighting at the Maritime
At 5 p.m., head over to the Channel Islands Maritime Museum and watch the Holiday Lighting of the 75-foot “Tallship Mast” in front of the museum. Enjoy live music, a visit from Santa, and sing-along to Holiday favorites. At 6:30 p.m. Santa will arrive to flip the switch and light up the Mast. This event takes place just before the Parade of Lights starts.
Where to watch the Parade of Lights?
The parade starts in front of Peninsula Park and heads to the Main Channel, turns at Hobie Beach, loops in front of the launch ramp, then heads back to Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club and repeats the route for a second run. The parade can be viewed from parks and walkways that line the route as well as from most Harbor restaurants. Boat charters are available for those who want to watch the parade from the water.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published November 25, 2019.